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5 Manners to Teach Your Kids

5 Manners to Teach Your Kids

Everyone wants a well-mannered child. But with all the responsibilities that parents are already juggling on a daily basis, teaching your child right from wrong and how to act is sometimes put on the back burner. Most parents know what it’s like to feel shocked and embarrassed in front of other adults when their child exhibits poor manners.

The cold hard truth is that children learn from imitating their parents. If you want your kids to practice appropriate mannerisms, they need to observe them first. These are the same mannerisms that your parents taught you when you were small.

Cover the basics by teaching your kids the following five manners:

1. Saying “please” and “thank you.”

You’d be surprised how infrequently these phrases are heard in polite conversation these days. Many kids don’t know the etiquette. When someone gives you something, the proper reply is “thank you.” It conveys respect and appreciation. When you ask for something, end your statement or begin your question with “please.” It also conveys respect and graciousness.

2. Greeting someone.

Pay attention to how many people say “hello” to you today. Proper etiquette is to say the greeting when you enter a room where people are gathered. Even if other people don’t return the greeting, addressing others shows kindness and respect.

3. Answering the telephone.

When picking up the receiver, yelling “huh” into the line isn’t the proper way to speak to someone on the other end. Always say “hello” first. Once the pleasantries are out of the way, the other person can state their business if they are the one calling you. If you’re calling someone, say your name and the purpose of your call after the greeting.
More 5 Manners to Teach Your Kids

4. Practice selflessness.

In a nutshell, practicing selflessness means showing consideration for others, e.g., holding a door open for someone behind you, taking the grocery bags in the house for mom, allowing an older person to have your seat on the bus. Do these things for others, and your children will eventually model your positive behavior.

5. Waiting for your turn to speak.

Try not to interrupt your children when you’re having family conversations or one-on-one chats, and they’ll learn how to listen and speak when the other person is done talking. Interrupting is not entirely avoidable, as sometimes interruption is a part of normal conversation flow; however, when done in excess, it’s considered rude.

Related reading: 4 Things Moms Can Do to Promote Their Child’s Independence

Practicing good manners teaches your children responsibility, sensitivity, respect, and maturity; it stacks the odds in favor of your child growing into a well-adjusted and viable citizen in their community and the world beyond.

For more on manners, try these good reads:

Manners Can Be Fun

365 Manners Kids Should Know: Games, Activities, and Other Fun Ways to Help Children and Teens Learn Etiquette

Dude, That’s Rude!: (Get Some Manners) (Laugh & Learn)